I do not expect you to believe me! But then, most fishing stories are that way!
This is a Northern Pike Fishing Story.
Like I said. Since you weren't there, I don't expect you to believe me, but it happened just the way I'm going to tell it! It's a good fishing story, and the inspiration for this shirt.
I was home from Germany where I was in the army. I was stationed in Aschaffenburg Germany, part of the 3rd Infantry Division. This was back in 1986 when one U.S. Dollar was equal to 3.50 Deutsch Mark. We thought we were rich as young soldiers. A Draft Guinness Beer cost Deutsch Mark 3.50! I remember my GI Buddies and I would go to the Irish Pub in downtown Aschaffenburg and for a $5 bill have 5 Guinness Beer on draft. We just had to be back in time for First Sergeant Pulley's morning 5 mile run at 5 A.M. Such was the life of an Infantry Soldier!
While I was home on leave from the army, my father and I went fishing. My father is a serious fishermen. You can tell a serious fisherman by the hat he's wearing. All serious fishermen wear a straw hat to which they can hang an assortment of fishing lures. To the outside observer, the hat makes them look silly and as though they're a few marbles short of a full pouch! But make no mistake about it, this is the sign of a serious fisherman, one who is much wiser in the ways of catching fish than you or I. In addition to their hats, serious fisherman also have plenty of extra fishing reels for guests to use; and usually one special fishing reel that catches all the fish, which no one is allowed to touch!
Such was the case with my father.
While my father was telling me about the great action on his new reel, I worked up the courage to ask if I could try out. To my surprise he said yes. But it came with a stern warning, "hang on to that rod son, it's not replaceable and it catches big fish, and I don't want to see it go into the water." I laughed and said, "sure Dad, ok!"
It wasn't more than 10 minutes after I put that hook in the water that my father yelled, "hey, grab the rod, there's something on it!" I was too busy grabbing a sandwich, and before I knew it his special fishing reel was in the water. I looked at my father in horror as he directed,
"get in after it!"
By this time, I had been in the Army for only 5 months. I was still at the stage where you did everything you were told, usually followed by a "Yes Sergeant!"
Without hesitation, with my combat boots on, I jumped over the side. The water was cold, murky brown and I could not see a thing. My clothes were heavy, my boots full of water, and I was having trouble swimming. But I was given an order, and an order I would follow. As I dove deeper and deeper into the water, I kept swinging my arms from side to side, praying for the miracle I was sure wouldn't come. Not expecting to find anything, and just as I was beginning to run out of air, my arm bumped into something that felt like a stick. Still not being able to see, I grabbed the stick and began swimming towards the surface!
When I reached the surface, I handed the stick to my father. He couldn't believe his eyes! I had managed to save his special fishing rod and reel. He was even more surprised to feel something still pulling on the line! "Get in the boat, and grab the net," he yelled! We proceeded to reel in a 4 /12 pound Northern Pike.
Over the years, I've had trouble getting people to believe this story. But this is one fish story that really happened!
I told you it was a good fish story! And I have the shirt to prove it!